Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.
Oh dear, I really have to keep better track of my books’ due dates! It turns out that Heidegger’s Glasses was due back today – plus it was on hold, so no renewals! I had to speed-read my way through the last third of the book, and managed to finish it, albeit too hastily. I have to keep better tabs on things!
Blue Nights – Joan Didion
For some reason this was on the ‘New arrivals’ shelves
From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.
Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving
The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough
I’ve been wanting to read one of those sweeping epic stories. And I guess this fits the bill.
Powered by the dreams and struggles of three generations, The Thorn Birds is the epic saga of a family rooted in the Australian sheep country. At the story’s heart is the love of Meggie Cleary, who can never possess the man she desperately adores, and Ralph de Bricassart, who rises from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican…but whose passion for Meggie will follow him all the days of his life
The Lobster Chronicles: life on a very small island – Linda Greenlaw
It’s time to get back to working on my non-fiction reading list!
After 17 years at sea, Linda Greenlaw decided it was time to take a break from being a swordboat captain, the career that would earn her a prominent role in Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm and a portrayal in the subsequent film. Greenlaw decided to move back home, to a tiny island seven miles off the Maine coast. There, she would pursue a simpler life as a lobsterman, find a husband, and settle down.But all doesn’t go as planned. The lobsters refuse to crawl out from under their rocks and into the traps she and her father have painstakingly set. Fellow islanders draw her into bizarre intrigues, and the eligible bachelors prove even more elusive than the lobsters. But just when she thinks things can’t get worse, something happens that forces her to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about life, luck, and lobsters.
Filled with nautical detail and the dramas of small-town life, The Lobster Chronicles is a celebration of family and community. Greenlaw proves once again that fishermen are the best storytellers around.
The Dark Lord of Derkholm (Derkholm #1) – Dianna Wynne Jones
For Once Upon a Time
Everyone – wizards, soldiers, farmers, elves, dragons, kings and queens alike – is fed up with Mr Chesney’s Pilgrim Parties: groups of tourists from the world next door who descend en masse every year to take the Grand Tour. What they expect are all the trappings of a grand fantasy adventure, including the Evil Enchantress, Wizard Guides, the Dark Lord, Winged Minions, and all. And every year different people are chosen to play these parts. But now they’ve had enough: Mr Chesney may be backed by a very powerful demon, but the Oracles have spoken. Now it’s up to the Wizard Derk and his son Blade, this year’s Dark Lord and Wizard Guide, not to mention Blade’s griffin brothers and sisters, to save the world from Mr Chesney’s depredations.
Travels with Charley: In Search of America – John Steinbeck
I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. It’s been a very long time since I’ve read any Steinbeck.
In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America. A picaresque tale, this chronicle of their trip meanders through scenic backroads and speeds along anonymous superhighways, moving from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Travels with Charley in Search of America is animated by Steinbeck’s attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature—to weather, geography, the cycle of the seasons. His keen ear for the transactions among people is evident, too, as he records the interests and obsessions that preoccupy the Americans he encounters along the way. Travels with Charley in Search of America, originally published in 1962, provides an intimate and personal look at one of America’s most beloved writers in the later years of his life—a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography. It was written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand—and is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade.
What did you get from the library this week?